Ron Smooker, partner at Maddocks, will be speaking at the Australasian Lawyer Contract Law Masterclass in March. He talks about the biggest issues in contract law.
What do you love about contract law?
"Love" might be overstating the nature of the relationship. But for commercial lawyers it is the water in which we swim and we owe it to our clients and ourselves to understand it.
Why is knowledge of ‘Advanced contract negotiation strategies: The art of getting what you (both) want’ so important for lawyers at the moment?
It is important now for the reason that it has always been important – the effectiveness of a contract depends on it reflecting the basics of the commercial underpinning. If one side feels at a significant disadvantage, the thing will never work.
In your experience, what is the biggest mistake that people make when drafting contracts?
Forgetting that they are not drafting for the people around the negotiating table but are actually drafting for the judge and for those who will inherit the contract (with all its idiosyncrasies).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
“Measure twice, cut once”.
What do you think is the most significant area of development in terms of contract law at the moment?
The ongoing issues around implied terms.
What do you love about your job?
No two days are ever the same.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
My history with strange cases is depressingly small.